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Ireland Forced to Reshuffle


If losing 4-1 to wales wasn’t a big enough blow for Martin O’Neill’s side, the withdrawal of Stephen Ward and Jon Walters will be.

Ward has flown back to Burnley to receive treatment on the foot injury he sustained in Cardiff while Walters has been allowed to return to his club in an attempt to regain full fitness having only recovered from a knee injury this summer.

Walters withdrawal means that former Derry City striker Ronan Curtis has been rewarded for earning Noel King’s Ireland U21 side a draw against Kosovo on Friday.

The former Derry City striker who now plays his football in League One for Portsmouth has scored five goals in six games this season. His goal against Kosovo on Friday night was his first for his country.

Curtis would have been suspended for Ireland’s U21’s European Championship qualifier against Germany in Tallaght on Tuesday.

The change means that Martin O’Neill will have Graham Burke, Callum Robinson, Aiden O’Brien, and Ronan Curtis as forwards to choose from for his side’s game against Poland on Tomorrow.

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher who joined the squad in Wales last week for training has also been given permission to return to his club.

Martin O’Neill will be hoping for a better performance than that of last Friday as Irelands UEFA Nations League campaign took a heavy hit when they lost 4-1.

Credit: Daily Post

Things looked bleak from the off as Tom Lawrence scored in the 6th minute when Lawrence latched on to a perfectly weighted pass from Joe Allen before slamming a shot home past Darren Randolph.

It got worse for Ireland 12 minutes later when Gareth Bale scored a very Arjen Robben-esque goal when he cut inside from the right flank before curling a left-footed strike into the top left-hand corner from 20-yards.

The game was then put out of sight by Aaron Ramsey in the 37th minute who beats Randolph at his near post with a low driven effort. Connor Roberts added a 4th in the 55th minute when he hammered the ball into the bottom right corner of Ireland’s goal.

Shaun Williams netted a consolation goal for Ireland in the 66th minute, 10 minutes after coming on, when he dispossessed Aaron Ramsey on the edge of his own box and then lifts the ball over the onrushing Wayne Hennessey.


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